top of page
  • Writer's picturemarti mcginnis

The Miracle of the Monarch Butterfly

You who go through the day
like a wingèd tiger
burning as you fly
tell me what supernatural life
is painted on your wings
so that after this life
I may see you in my night

Writer Homero Aridjis (born April 6, 1940) is a Mexican poet, novelist, environmental activist, journalist and diplomat Aridjis founded and became president of the Group of 100, an association of prominent artists and intellectuals, devoted to environmental protection and the defense of biodiversity in Mexico and Latin America. Under his leadership the Group of 100 achieved in 1986 the official decree ensuring protection for the forests where the migratory monarch butterfly overwinters near where he and his wife Betty live. See more.


The Monarca Milagro

Monarch Butterflies of North America live nothing sort of a miraculous migratory life cycle.

Every spring they fly in great drifts away from the tall pine trees of the Oyumel Forest reserve in Mexico's Michoacan state. They make their way to the southern states of the United States, lay eggs and die. Their caterpillars hatch, gorge themselves on milkweed (asclepias), spin a chrysalis, transform into butterflies and fly further south in the midsections of the US where they repeat this process resulting in a third generation that continue flying to the northern U.S. and southern Canada. This last generation hatches and perhaps most wondrous of all fly all the way back down to central Mexico in the fall sometimes arriving at the exact same tree their great great grandparents fly away from 8 months earlier.

I have been fortunate enough to take several trips to see them as they over winter in central Mexico. This is a video I made from my first trip:

Book your own trip to see the monarcas in central mexico.


How Do They Do It?

The miracle of the monarch migration can begin to be explained in part through the advanced explorations of inquiry through the study of epigenetics. Where gene response (rather than the DNA sequence) can be stored and inherited by future generations.

The 4 generations of monarch butterflies involved in each annual migration cycle demonstrate how information can be stored and inherited by future generations. This helps explain how the great great granddaughter of a monarch butterfly born in southern Canada can find her way back to the exact same tree her mother launched from in central Mexico 8 months earlier.

Inspiration From The Monarchs

Let yourself be inspired by the migration miracle of the monarch butterflies or the more common miracle of metamorphosis where you start as one type of being and reform as something altogether different! A great concept to embrace as we prepare ourselves mindfully to be ready for the new world unfolding before us.

Preparing the creative mind for what's next

Help During The Pandemic

The people who surround the Butterfly Reserves in Mexico rely on tourist dollars to support them and allow them to leave the trees necessary for the Monarchs survival. With travel so limited these days, several organizations have created fundraisers to help keep the people safe which in turn allows them to keep the butterflies safe. Here is a recent one.


Excellent Novel With Monarchs As a Centerpiece

Writer, Barbara Kingsolver, wrote a novel that highlighted the migration of the monarchs called "Flight Behavior". Kingsolver's riveting story concerns a young wife and mother on a failing farm in rural Tennessee who experiences something she cannot explain, and how her discovery energizes various competing factions—religious leaders, climate scientists, environmentalists, politicians—trapping her in the center of the conflict and ultimately opening up her world.




bottom of page